We can all only hope to look as cool as the city kids sporting the latest pieces from Welkin NYC, a New York-based and inspired brand co-created by Belle Savransky and LaTonya Staubs. Both are bloggers and moms of two who possess the most infectious love for New York City that not only is evident in their creations, but in how they live their lives. The Welkin brand is made “by the city, for the city,” and will launch a third and extensive collection this fall. With statement tees and onesies, skirts and turbans with a vintage flare, and urban-inspired heirloom pieces, Welkin is the essence of what it is to be a child in the city.
What is the Welkin NYC story?
BS: We’re not so much interested in telling a story as in conveying the “live and let and live” feeling that leads our lives here in NYC. We want to present an uninhibited freedom of expression in our children’s clothes, and to really foster a pride in being children of the city. It’s a very multidimensional message, which shows itself in our simple yet direct designs.
That’s a big message and undertaking. Is that what sets Welkin apart from other lines?
BS: I don’t think anything makes us more or less special than any other kids clothing brand in the market, working every day to make their dream succeed. Our message isn’t for everyone and we’re not going to try to convince everyone that they need to wear Welkin. If it speaks to you, it speaks to you. If it embodies what you want in your children’s wardrobe, then so be it.
Speaking of messaging, you’re really becoming known for your tees and onesies.
BS: We try to incorporate into our designs nods to the many cultural and arts movements of NYC that we are inspired by. It’s pretty clear what inspired the designs on our first collection of shirts: each shirt acknowledges the NYC-based artist who first coined the quote—except our DOPE tee, and that one continues to be the most controversial. Our clothes aren’t for everyone. We make clothes that reflect our experience as mothers of city children. Sometimes there’s some humor and sass and controversy thrown in there, and that’s just how we like it. The DOPE tee is about a child claiming his or her individuality—that’s the message. And I love all the positive feedback we’ve gotten from that one.
LS: And every product has a story behind it. Some of the words on our shirts and totes are from famous songs and movements in history; other pieces signify certain parts of our lives that we want to tie into our brand.
You have some beautiful, unique pieces. If you could choose an adult-sized item, which would it be?
LS: I definitely have a deep love for The Luna Suit in our current collection; but I’m probably a tad more in love with The Moon Jumper. It’s quirky, it’s out there, and you’ve got to be brave to wear it and rock it. I want one in an adult size for sure.
BS: I think the Subway-Riding Pants were and still are my favorite piece. Their versatility, as well as their unisex appeal, is something that I rarely see in children’s brands. My son now wears the same pair that I made for my daughter last year. They’re fantastic and durable and I’d love to have them in my size. And my husband’s. Obviously we could not all four wear them at the same time—or could we?!
The summer line is moving off the racks—and it’s available in a few new locations.
LS: Our summer capsule collection was shipped our to wholesalers, and is virtually sold out, which is exciting for us! For this collection in particular we chose to allow pre-orders, as well as sell in shops. It’s been a great experience, and we’ve built some lasting friendships. Currently you can find our pieces at the super hip Babesta, located in Tribeca NYC. You can also find our pieces online at Darling Clementine Shop and California Kids.
Your fall collection is set to be extensive. How is it going and what can we expect to see from future Welkin?
BS: We’re right in the middle of producing the fall line. We are a very hands-on company, and oversee all grading, cutting, sewing, and printing in person, which gives us a great grasp on quality control within our company. One of the perks of manufacturing and printing here in NYC is being able to really be a part of the process, and we take full advantage of that. We’re getting more creative with our designs this time around and using some new colors. We are really proud of the new pieces. To be honest, we take our designs really seriously and just want to keep producing small runs of quality designs, printed locally, made ethically and sustainably, and which speak to our hearts. We want to keep creating, and keep doing it right, and we know everything will grow organically if we stick to our vision.